It’s Just a Joke: The Kimmel Calamity & Ignorance Of The Enraged
The video game world has been kicking up a fuss this week, and it’s not all about the latest releases. While Until Dawn proves to be this year’s sleeper hit and Metal Gear Solid 5 explodes into the hearts and minds of the masses, a simple joke has created a whirl wind of sweaty, social media, fury.
Jimmy Kimmel dared to make a joke about video game stream viewers during his comedy TV show. How fucking dare he! HOW BLOODY WELL DARE HE, MAKE A JOKE?!! A COMDEIC TV HOST?! MAKING JOKES?!!
The skit/bit/sketch took the mickey out of people watching people play games, that’s it. The concept that people found this offensive, or disrespectful, is bizarre. The only offensive thing about the joke is the sheer lack of originality it oozed. It’s a joke that’s been said thousands of times, by thousands of people, most of which play video games.
Twitter does what Twitter does best, gives ‘offended’ people a platform. Furious 1337 Gam3rs spammed Kimmel with insults, death threats and curious attempts to justify their love of watching streamers. The collective video game culture’s time in the media spotlight was, again, taken up to be beaten once more. Not satisfied with the fallout from last year’s mish-mash of ethics, misguided justice and plugging of paetrons, people seemed more than willing to offer up the culture’s image as a sacrificial lamb in order to get their anger across.
You can be proud of your hobby and interests, it’s a empowering feeling, but it’s not a reason to attack people who may disagree with you. The fact is, Jimmy Kimmel makes a living out of making people laugh, and the concept of watching other people play games is a easy target. Video games are a easy target, so are famous people and Trashy Tv shows. All the easy targets are covered by easy to consume entertainment like Jimmy Kimmel Live, simply because it’s a easy joke and a cheap laugh.
I love video games, I love (parts) of the culture, and I also enjoy people not understanding them. Not everything is an attack, not everything is mean spirited, get over your hobby. It’s worrying that people are so happy to proudly vocalise their disdain towards a harmless joke, but stay quiet on business practices sucking the industry dry.
Instead of Tweeting a TV host, threatening them with various forms of death, Tweet Square Enix asking them what the fuck is up with that Augmented Dues Ex Pre-order. Tweet Bungie and ask why they shipped half a game, hidden behind numerous pricey expansions. Tweet the legions of websites and Youtubers taking perks for positive coverage of games and services.
Don’t use your voice to address non-issues that have no impact on your hobby, use it to try and bring in change. Jimmy Kimmel’s joke may be old and redundant, but it highlights the fact most modern game consumers care too much about pride, rather than a better industry.